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Tactcs, Ethics, and Acceptable Use on

I ran across this “signature” line, or whatever it’s called, recently on this site:

“I would never want to be part of a club that would have you as a member” — JO  

1. There’s only one “JO” who appears here, it’s me; if there’s another famous “JO” I’d like to know who it is. (Maybe it’s me too.)

2. The quotation marks imply that I wrote the words; that’s what quotation marks are used for in the English language, for anyone who was absent from school the day that was taught.

3. While that statement may–may–be true for me in the case of the individual using it for a “signature,” I’m not aware of having written it.

4. No need to be uptight, although I’m not eager to have people in general attributing quotations to me that I didn’t write. Some might be flattered to have a supposed quotation adapted by a pseudononymous user in this particular way. In this particular case…. well, I don’t think this particular technicolor user was trying to pay a compliment, and I’m hardly flattered to be associated with the rest of this particular sigline. If he/she needs, I did provide some suitable descriptive terms in a posting the other day. Feel free, with attribution.

If that practice is okay with the proprietors of this site, especially when it references contributors to this site, then LET IT BE KNOWN RIGHT HERE. It certainly entertains a lot more interesting possibilities: made-up quotes attributed to other site users as part of sign-off lines. Hmmmmm.

[Note that silence implies consent in Anglo-American jurisprudence.]–Kindle Edition?

Unbeknownst to us, apparently you can buy a “subscription” to Colorado Pols for your Amazon Kindle:

Product Description

Colorado’s most-read political blog, featuring news, opinion and inside information from both sides of the political aisle.

Kindle blogs are fully downloaded onto your Kindle so you can read them even when you’re not wirelessly connected. And unlike RSS readers which often only provide headlines, blogs on Kindle give you full text content and images, and are updated wirelessly throughout the day.

We knew nothing about this, but we’re #15 in the Kindle Blogs U.S. News, Politics & Opinion category–below such luminaries as AmericaBlog but interestingly more popular than Washington Post’s The Trail.

And no, nobody’s explained to us how we might potentially make some money off of this “subscription,” but we’re open to suggestions. disturbs Owens sleep every 36 hours. John Andrews decries Liberal zillionaires!

“Liberal zillionaires buying Colorado politics” is the banner on Andrews’ website, that links to the full article from the National Review:

These liberal “zillionaires” have, as the article reads, “. . . established several websites, including, that have started to shape political coverage in the state. ‘I can’t tell you how often reporters would call 36 hours after something appeared there,’ says . . . (Governor) . . . Owens.”

Gee, Bill.  You need to change your phone number!

Dang, John.  Aren’t you being hypocritical? What the hell you got to say about Pat Toomey and the Club for Growth whose East Coast mongo-mega-zillionaires bought Lamborn’s seat with lies and lawyers, and bought the Republicans minority status in the U.S. Senate?  Quit your whining, John, and turn your attacks toward your RINO friends like Pat Toomey. 

“Our Mission is not to help Republicans
hold onto the majority.”
Pat Toomey, President, Club for Growth
National Journal, March 23, 2006

Anthony Scaramucci is a Walking, Talking Meme

New White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci in his first press briefing today.

There’s a new Sheriff in town in the White House communications office. If you thought recently-departed spokesperson Sean Spicer was full of crap…wait until you get a load of the new guy, Anthony Scaramucci.

Today the White House held its first on-camera press briefing in weeks to introduce Scaramucci, and — hoo-boy — “the Mooch” is something else. From the Washington Post:

President Trump’s decision to bring Anthony Scaramucci into a top White House role represents a remarkable political ascension for the investment veteran, who had bounced around several Republican campaigns before striking gold as a full-throated Trump supporter.

Scaramucci, known as “the Mooch,” is in many ways cut from the same cloth as his new boss. A brash New Yorker who is comfortable jousting with the media, he is a promoter who some say carries a vindictive streak…

…This would be at least the third job in the Trump administration that Scaramucci has been offered. He was set to be director of the White House’s Office of Public Engagement, but critics within the White House blocked him from ultimately taking that post.

In June, he started working in a senior role at the U.S. Export-Import Bank, but he will have been in that job for only about a month, because he will be transitioning into the White House communications job very soon.

Scaramucci is a former hedge fund executive with little actual experience in “communications,” but he doesn’t appear to have any problem creating his own “alternate facts” about President Trump.

Here in “reality,” President Trump’s approval ratings are historically bad. As ABC News notes:

Americans give President Donald Trump the lowest six-month approval rating of any president in polls dating back 70 years, punctuated by questions about his competence on the world stage, his effectiveness, the GOP health care plan and Russia’s role in the 2016 election.

Just 36 percent of Americans polled in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll approve of Trump’s job performance, down 6 points from his 100-day mark, itself a low. The previous president closest to this level at or near six months was Gerald Ford, at 39 percent, in February 1975.

Trump’s appointment of Scaramucci seems likely to actually increase the level of drama in the White House. Chief of Staff Reince Preibus is reportedly furious about “the Mooch” now taking the role of lead spokesperson, but Scaramucci seems to have figured out that there is job safety in talking nonsense so long as it is what Trump wants to hear:

You Call That A Disclaimer, George Brauchler?

George Brauchler.

An issue that crops up frequently in political races concerns the use of a candidate’s image in military uniform in materials promoting their election–along with information about their service record, rank held, etc. Department of Defense regulations are quite specific about regulating this, obliging candidates for office to clearly state that the use of such images and information does not imply an endorsement by the DoD:

Any such military information must be accompanied by a prominent and clearly displayed disclaimer that neither the military information nor photographs imply endorsement by the Department of Defense or their particular Military Department (or the Department of Homeland Security for members of the Coast Guard); e.g., “John Doe is a member of the Army National Guard. Use of his military rank, job titles, and photographs in uniform does not imply endorsement by the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense.”

You’ll recall that last year, then-Denver7 reporter Marshall Zelinger caught a bunch of Republican candidates, from Rep. Mike Coffman to Senate candidate Jon Keyser, using service photos with no DoD-required disclaimers whatsoever–which those candidates quickly corrected after attracting that negative press attention.

We’ve had a few occasions recently to cite 2018 GOP gubernatorial candidate George Brauchler as an example of poor online campaign execution. From letting opponents dominate Google search responses from Brauchler via better optimization to other amateurish website problems, he’s just done a crappy job online best practices-wise. With that in mind, you’ve probably seen this banner advertisement for Brauchler’s campaign now playing at the top of our website in heavy rotation:

You’ll notice that the left side of this banner ad contains a photo of Brauchler in a United States Army uniform. Now, of course we know from the above DoD policy that all such photos need to have a “prominent and clearly displayed disclaimer” stating clearly that the photo doesn’t imply any endorsement. If you look closely at the photo in this banner, you can see what looks like text in the photo–text that could be the required DoD disclaimer.

Too bad you can’t read it:

There are plenty of ways to describe this, but “prominent and clearly displayed disclaimer” is definitely not one of them! The Surgeon General’s warnings on cigarettes would have love to have a loophole like this. But seriously, folks–it’s totally illegible, which makes it totally non-compliant with DoD regulations. Yes, we get that it’s an amateurish mistake, just the latest in a series of such gaffes from Brauchler.

In fact, that’s kind of the point. As a district attorney running for governor, attention to detail and playing by the rules should be Brauchler’s calling cards. Instead, Brauchler has lost two high-profile cases since jumping into the political fray, failed pitifully at raising money out of the gate, and now appears to have just stepped on one of the most avoidable landmines (no pun intended) in electoral politics.

If you want to be taken seriously as a gubernatorial candidate, you need to (no nice way to say it) suck less.

Cory Gardner Outdoes Himself

UPDATE: In a separate story in the Denver PostJohn Ingold reports that any Senate decision to repeal Obamacare without a replacement plan would virtually destroy the healthcare market in Colorado:

The repeal, as proposed in the Senate, would end in 2020 the tax credits that help many people in the individual market pay for their premiums. Also that year, it would end the extra subsidies that help low-income people pay for deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs.

But insurers, knowing that major changes are coming to the individual market, could begin pulling back this year — or asking to charge even higher rates.


Sen. Cory Gardner doesn’t understand why Senate leaders don’t stand up for what they believe in. No, seriously, he really said that.

We’re not breaking any news when we say that Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) has been consistently full of shit when it comes to talking about Senate GOP efforts to create the worst-possible healthcare legislation imaginable. Local media outlets have increasingly figured out Gardner’s game on discussing healthcare — which is to pretend that he doesn’t know anything about anything when he gets a tough question — but Gardner is always ready to ratchet up the nonsense to another level.

Gardner spoke to Mark Matthews for a story in the Denver Post, and, well…let’s just say that you should stretch out your eyeballs so you don’t pull a muscle:

Since being named this spring to a 13-member Republican group assigned to tackle the issue, Gardner hasn’t spoken substantially about dueling plans to dismantle the Affordable Care Act — not once revealing whether he would support any of the draft versions circulating on Capitol Hill…

Gardner, for his part, said he remains undecided on both proposals, though he voiced a preference for legislation that did more than simply unwind the 2010 health care law. [Pols emphasis]

“I would prefer a solution that would be a replacement for the failing Affordable Care Act,” Gardner said.

He would not say, however, whether he would vote for a straight repeal bill — even if it were a carbon copy of the 2015 legislation that he backed while President Barack Obama was in office with the power to veto it. [Pols emphasis]

“I don’t think I’m going to speculate on that, because I don’t know that’s what would come up and I don’t want to say that I’m going to vote for this, that or the other before I see it and before I know what’s in it,” Gardner said.

Okay, get ready to roll those eyes. Here it comes…

But he echoed other Republican leader in arguing the Senate should vote no matter what, even in the face of likely defeat.

“I don’t see why anybody should be concerned about fighting for legislation that they believe will do better than what we have,” Gardner said. [Pols emphasis]

You read that correctly, folks! Cory Gardner says he doesn’t understand why anyone would be afraid to stand up for what they believe is right…just after he refuses to tell the Denver Post anything about what he believes should be done on healthcare legislation.

We don’t even know what else to say here.

So Long, Spicey

CNN reporting, the long death watch for White House press secretary Sean Spicer is finally over:

White House press secretary Sean Spicer resigned Friday morning, according to three White House officials.

Spicer’s resignation came after New York financier and former Trump campaign fundraiser Anthony Scaramucci accepted the position as White House communications director.

Apparently Spicer wasn’t a fan of hiring Anthony Scaramucci, told Trump so, and resigned. But after half a year as the butt of every late-night joke in America, we have to think Spicer was only waiting for a suitable pretext. Not to mention that the reason the White House decided to end on-camera daily press briefings is pretty much, you know, all Spicey.

He’ll make a great CNN analyst.

Colorado Republicans Dismayed by Early Gubernatorial Sparring

GOP gubernatorial candidates: Victor Mitchell, Mitt Romney’s Nephew, and George Brauchler

As Jesse Paul writes for the Denver Post, the race for the Republican nomination for Governor in 2018 is starting to get a tad prickly:

Victor Mitchell came out swinging this week in the Republican primary for Colorado governor, questioning the fundraising practices of one GOP rival and irking another by saying attorneys “shouldn’t be anywhere near the executive branch of government.”

It’s one of the first times that a candidate has gone negative in the fledgling fight for governor, and Mitchell, a millionaire businessman who served one term in the state legislature, said he doesn’t regret criticizing fellow Republicans Doug Robinson and George Brauchler.

“We have to be level with the citizens of Colorado,” Mitchell said. “The voters of Colorado deserve honest, straight-talking elected officials. We’ve got to stop pandering and start leading.”

But the barbs have touched a nerve among some Republican insiders, who said Mitchell’s early turn toward the negative does the party no favors.

Politicos regularly groan about the potential negative effects of trading barbs in a primary, while some contend that a heated debate only serves to strengthen the winning candidate heading into a General Election matchup.

What say you, Polsters?

Senate GOP Now 0-for-3 on CBO Scores

UPDATE: As Politico reports, Senate Republicans aren’t really getting close to coming up with a plan anyway:

Republicans felt somewhat buoyed by Wednesday’s White House meeting and late-night senators-only gathering, which left them feeling as though they’re making progress and that nearly every GOP senator is trying to get to yes.

But the math is increasingly working against them, with four Republican senators having announced opposition to starting debate — though the bill could further change — and more unannounced but likely nos. Key Senate Republicans were set to meet again on Thursday afternoon, said Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), a critic of the GOP’s latest approach. But Heller won’t be there and said he’d said staff in his place.

Sen. John McCain’s diagnosis of brain cancer also has the GOP one vote down, or at least leaves a huge question mark regarding whether the beloved Arizona Republican would be able to make the trip back to Washington. And Heller said at a GOP lunch on Thursday, there was no clarity from GOP leaders on what the party would even be voting to debate next week.

“We didn’t have a firm commitment at lunch today,” Heller said. “We still can’t figure out what the first amendment is going to be after the motion to proceed.”


Senate Republicans at work on healthcare legislation.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) today released a score on another version of healthcare legislation proposed by Senate Republicans. You’re forgiven if you are starting to find this all a little redundant.

As The Hill reports:

About 22 million people would lose health insurance coverage in the next decade under the most recent revision of the Senate’s ObamaCare replacement bill, according to a new Congressional Budget Office analysis.

Because the legislation retains two of ObamaCare’s taxes, the CBO estimates it would reduce the deficit by about $420 billion by 2026.

The number of uninsured is essentially unchanged from the original draft of the legislation released last month. It’s also far more than the uninsured rate under the Affordable Care Act. [Pols emphasis]

Premiums would rise under the legislation until 2020, when they would be about 30 percent lower than under the current law. But most older people would still face higher premiums than younger people, the CBO said.

Notably, the CBO did not score an amendment added to the bill by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) that would let insurers opt out of ObamaCare regulations as long as they also sell ObamaCare-compliant plans.

This newest CBO score, experts say, isn’t really worth much because it doesn’t include the Cruz amendment. Without addressing the Cruz amendment, the new-but-not-really-improved-BCRA would be about as devastating to American families as the original version that was scored in late June.

Senate Republicans now have three different CBO scores on three approaches to healthcare legislation — including a score released on Wednesday for a repeal-but-not-replace bill that would leave 32 million Americans without healthcare and would double premiums for just about everybody. The BEST CASE SCENARIO legislation from the Senate GOP would lead to 22 million people losing healthcare access.

Get More Smarter on Thursday (July 20)

Get outside and enjoy the weather — just don’t forget your sunscreen. It’s time to Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.



► Republicans in Washington D.C. are angry and frustrated over their inability to craft any sort of plausible legislation for repealing Obamacare, and President Trump voiced his displeasure in person during a luncheon at the White House on Wednesday. Later in the day, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its score of a Senate proposal to repeal — but not replace — Obamacare, and the numbers just keep getting worse. This proposal is similar to legislation that Senators voted on in 2015, and as the Washington Post explains, it’s pretty terrible:

Congressional budget analysts estimated Wednesday that a Senate plan to repeal part of the Affordable Care Act with no immediate replacement would increase the number of people without health coverage by 17 million next year and 32 million at the end of a decade. The forecast by the Congressional Budget Office of the impact on coverage of the Senate GOP’s latest health-care legislation is nearly identical to estimates the CBO made in January based on a similar bill that passed both the House and Senate in late 2015 – and was vetoed by then-President Barack Obama.

For those Americans who don’t lose healthcare under this proposal, premiums would DOUBLE within the next few years.


► Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is in Denver to take part in the right-wing ALEC legislative conference. As Luke Perkins writes for the Durango Herald:

Hundreds of Coloradans protested U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ visit in Denver on Wednesday, largely criticizing her stance on using tax dollars to fund private schools.

DeVos is in Denver to speak at the American Legislative Exchange Council’s 44th annual meeting Thursday. The exchange council is a conservative organization focused on providing “model legislation” for lawmakers across the country. Like DeVos, it supports privatizing public schools.

The protest had hallmarks of a Republican versus Democratic showdown, using DeVos’ visit as the catalyst. It quickly went beyond attacks on the secretary of education and the GOP and to attacks on anyone who had promoted efforts to move funds away from traditional public schools…

…“Betsy DeVos is the worst example of these so called ‘reformers,’” said state Sen. Michael Merrifield, D-Manitou Springs. “She has never attended, worked in nor sent her children to public schools. She has no government experience and no experience in running a bureaucracy or a large organization.”

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is also making an appearance at the ALEC conference and will stick around to take part in the Western Conservative Summit this weekend.


► Attorney General Jeff Sessions is responding to some pretty negative words from President Trump. As CNN reports:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he plans to continue in his job despite President Donald Trump’s comments that he’d have picked someone else had he known Sessions would recuse himself from the Justice Department’s Russia investigation.

“We love this job. We love this department, and I plan to continue to do so as long as that is appropriate,” he told reporters Thursday.

In a New York Times interview published Wednesday, Trump second-guessed his decision to nominate Sessions, an Alabama Republican who was the first sitting senator to back the real estate mogul’s presidential bid.

“Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself, which, frankly, I think is very unfair to the President,” Trump said, referring to himself. “How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I’m not going to take you.’ It’s extremely unfair — and that’s a mild word — to the President.” [Pols emphasis]

Trump was referring to Session’s decision to recuse himself from overseeing the FBI investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. The attorney general made his decision after it became public that he had previously met on behalf of the Trump campaign with Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak during an event at the Republican National Convention, and later in his senate office.

As reports, Trump’s interview with the New York Times demonstrates his complete disregard for the rule of law.


Get even more smarter after the jump…


32 Million People Would Lose Health Coverage Under Latest Senate Plan; Premiums Would Double

Trumpcare is mostly dead, but Senate Republicans seem intent on trying to prove that they can always come up with another healthcare proposal that is worse than the last. Today there is a new score out from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on a Senate Republican proposal to repeal — but not replace — Obamacare. It’s not good.

From the Washington Post:

Congressional budget analysts estimated Wednesday that a Senate plan to repeal part of the Affordable Care Act with no immediate replacement would increase the number of people without health coverage by 17 million next year and 32 million at the end of a decade. The forecast by the Congressional Budget Office of the impact on coverage of the Senate GOP’s latest health-care legislation is nearly identical to estimates the CBO made in January based on a similar bill that passed both the House and Senate in late 2015 – and was vetoed by then-President Barack Obama. [Pols emphasis]

The new report also said the legislation would decrease federal deficits by $473 billion over that 10-year window.

The measure, which appears to have little chance of passing, would get rid of ACA premium subsidies as of 2020 and would eliminate the penalty most Americans face if they go without health insurance. It would end Medicaid expansion as of 2020 as well as repeal several of the ACA’s taxes. And the cost-sharing subsidies that have been paid to insurers to help lower-income consumers afford their deductibles and other health expenses would be repealed in 2020.

Senate Republicans had lunch at the White House earlier today, where President Trump mixed in threats and vague assurances in an effort to convince the Senate to keep moving forward on an Obamacare repeal plan because he really wants to use his Presidential pen to sign something.

As the Post mentioned, and as the Washington Examiner explains in more detail, today’s CBO score puts some numbers behind a repeal-but-don’t-replace plan that is nearly identical to something that Congressional Republicans tried in 2015:

With the Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare currently dead, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. vowed to revive the 2015 bill that repealed much of Obamacare’s taxes and spending (while leaving regulations intact), and then deal with the thorny negotiations about replacement after. Back in 2015, the partial repeal bill passed the Senate with a 52-vote majority.

Though there has been some turnover in the Senate since that December 2015 vote, many of the centrists who have been the most reluctant to repeal Obamacare — Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V., Lisa Murkowski R-Alaska., Dean Heller, R-Nev., Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio — voted for the repeal bill. If they oppose it this time, they’ll have to beat back charges that they cynically voted for repeal two years ago when they knew former President Barack Obama would veto it, but reversed themselves when it was no longer symbolic, because President Trump will sign it into law. Susan Collins, R-Maine, voted no in 2015.

You can probably guess how Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) voted on this 2015 bill (he was a “YES”). Gardner will likely still pretend that he is undecided about a repeal-only option, but he’s already on the record having taken a position on this previously. That’s gonna sting.

Axios has more on the next potential steps that Republicans could take in their quest to destroy Obamacare and Medicaid and generally upend the healthcare industry in the United States. It seems unlikely that the Senate GOP would really go forward with some of these plans, but then again, there seems to be some determination to try to push forward the worst possible healthcare plan that they can imagine.

Gardner, GOP Senate a Picture of Anger and Frustration

UPDATE: President Trump told GOP Senators today to keep bashing their heads against the wall. From Politico:

President Donald Trump told Republican senators on Wednesday that they shouldn’t leave town for August recess without repealing and replacing Obamacare, a point he stressed at least three times.

“People are hurting. Inaction is not an option,” Trump said during a lunch with Senate Republicans at the White House. “And, frankly, I don’t think we should leave town unless we have a health insurance plan, unless we can give our people great health care. Because we’re close. We’re very close.”

Despite the president’s expression of optimism, Republican senators aren’t close to repealing and replacing Obamacare, as they’ve promised to do for years.

Trump also tossed around some vague threats, particularly toward Nevada Sen. Dean Heller. Given the fact that Senate Republicans have all but ignored Trump on healthcare reform to this point, it’s hard to see how today’s luncheon will make much of a difference.


Sen. Cory Gardner and his fellow angry men on Tuesday

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) is lunching at the White House today with his fellow Republican Senators. It is a bitter, angry bunch that will meet with a bitter, angry President Trump. As CNN reports:

The GOP turned into the Grouchy Old Party, as recriminations flew after the failure this week to repeal and replace Obamacare — the greatest motivating cause of Republican voters for more than seven years.

Soon after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell admitted defeat Tuesday in his bid to jam the bill through the Senate, President Donald Trump, different factions on Capitol Hill and outside conservative activists started assigning fault for the legislation’s collapse.

Trump, facing criticism of his own conduct in the failed effort to replace his successor’s signature law, suggested simply that the Republican majority on Capitol Hill was not up to the job…

…Meet the 53 angriest people in town. One President who wants to sign something that repeals Obamacare, and 52 Republican senators who can’t agree on how to advance health care legislation without tearing the GOP apart.

Republicans will have a chance to air their frustrations Wednesday as all GOP senators have been invited to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for lunch, a White House official told CNN. Discussing health care is on the menu, and given the way lawmakers were speaking Tuesday, expect some blame to be doled out as well.

The anger in Washington is acute, not just because overturning Obamacare has become a holy grail for Republicans, but also because six months into the Trump era, while operating a monopoly on power on Capitol Hill, the party has yet to pass a landmark piece of legislation.

Sometimes the greatest frustrations in life come from the realization that there is no-one else to blame for your own failure. That frustration grows larger when you understand that everyone else sees the same thing.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma).

President Trump and Cory Gardner can make feeble attempts to drag Democrats into their healthcare failure, but it’s common knowledge that Republicans control both chambers of Congress and the White House. This spin attempt is even more absurd given the news that Trump apparently had no idea what was happening when the Senate was throwing in the towel on repealing Obamacare. Senate Republicans failed to make any headway on overhauling healthcare because they crafted terrible legislation that would have caused massive harm to tens of millions of Americans. Gardner knows this, which is why he takes the ridiculous approach of insisting that he was undecided on a bill despite standing next to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and expressing anger over the legislation’s failure.

As the New York Times explains:

The Senate bill, which faced a near-impossible path forward after the House passed its version of the legislation in May, was ultimately defeated by deep divisions within the party, a lack of a viable health care alternative and a president who, one staff member said, was growing bored in selling the bill and often undermined the best-laid plans of his aides with a quip or a tweet…

…Making matters worse for the White House, the bill had virtually no support from health care, insurance, patient advocate and disease groups, and was harshly judged by the Congressional Budget Office. Grass-roots opposition to the bill — aided by Democrats like Senator Chuck Schumer of New York — swayed members of Congress in a way rarely seen on Capitol Hill.

Outside of the echo chamber that surrounds Republican Senators, nobody was clamoring for a healthcare bill that would have destroyed protections for pre-existing conditions and made devastating cuts to a Medicaid program that is used by 1 in 5 Americans. As we wrote last month, Republicans didn’t have a messaging problem; they had a math problem.

This entire process badly exposed Cory Gardner as nothing more than a political bomb-thrower with a complete indifference for his constituents and the American public in general. Gardner is a virtuoso at throwing wrenches at Democrats and railing against the policies of the opposing party; indeed, his entire Congressional career is based on complaining about Democrats and Obamacare specifically. But if you ask Gardner to try to craft some legislative solutions — some real, tangible policy ideas — he vanishes into the bushes behind a long string of meaningless phrases.

Perhaps this is the true reason that Gardner hasn’t held a town-hall meeting in nearly 500 days. Gardner’s staff didn’t want to expose the Senator to images of constituents expressing real-life concerns about the GOP’s flawed healthcare proposals because Gardner couldn’t just stand there and smile in response. Gardner’s gibberish on healthcare isn’t fooling anyone — including the local media — which leaves him in a very unfamiliar position.

All of the anger, all of the frustration — this is the real face of Cory Gardner. This is the face of a man who knows that he can no longer smile his way around the truth.

Q2 Fundraising Lessons: Nobody Cares About State Treasurer

Routt County Treasurer Brita Horn

As Ernest Luning reports for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman, there doesn’t appear to be much interest from donors in the open seat for State Treasurer:

State Rep. Justin Everett, a Littleton Republican, raised the most in contributions and had the most money in the bank at the end of the 2nd quarter, but Routt County Treasurer Brita Horn, also a Republican, and state Rep. Steve Lebsock, a Thornton Democrat, didn’t lag far behind.

State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, the Republican incumbent, faces term limits after next year’s election and is expected to announce he’s running for governor in coming months.

Everett posted $20,348 in contributions for the statewide race and reported $18,306 on hand at the end of the quarter. Horn raised $17,655 and had $11,183 remaining. Lebsock received $14,014 in donations and had $7,354 left after campaign expenditures.

These are pretty poor numbers across the board. Republican State Rep. Polly Lawrence entered the race after the Q2 fundraising period had ended, and Republican State Sen. Kevin Lundberg may not be far behind. If Republican Brian Watson does indeed enter the race at some point, he’ll likely have the advantage on the money side.